Food Shuttle Calls for the Guard

N.C. National Guard soldiers pack bags at the Inter-faith Food Shuttle for emergency food distribution.

With many Triangle residents out of work or unable to get to a grocery store, the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle has fielded a skyrocketing number of requests for food assistance. At the same time, the nonprofit’s regular volunteer services were suspended for the safety of volunteers and staff.

To ensure that food is provided for anyone who needs it, the Food Shuttle has increased its production and distribution efforts, and it has partnered with the North Carolina National Guard.

Last week, members of the 1-130th ARB unit of the N.C. Army National Guard brought their readiness and commitment to Inter-Faith Food Shuttle to assist in the distribution efforts to families impacted by COVID-19. The soldiers are filling in for vital volunteers for 30 days, beginning on April 27. At the end of May, officials will reassess the needs of the food bank.

“Having the resource of the National Guard available enables us to increase our operations in every way,” said Bethann James, Interim President/CEO of Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.“They have assisted in our kitchen and on our farm. It’s been wonderful to work alongside them. We’re looking forward to being able to serve more children, families and seniors throughout our seven-county service area.”

N.C. National Guard soldiers work at the Food Shuttle Farm.

Each day, a rotation of 12 to 15 soldiers are onsite at Food Shuttle locations aiding the Food Shuttle’s emergency response efforts. They assist staff with sorting food items, packing and distributing emergency food boxes, meal preparation, planting and/or harvesting at the Food Shuttle Farm, and other tasks as they arise.

“The soldiers of the North Carolina National Guard supporting Inter-Faith Food Shuttle in Raleigh are part of a team of Airmen and Soldiers supporting food banks and community feeding programs across the state,” said Major Kelby T. Glass of the North Carolina Army National Guard. “The National Guard is always ready and willing to assist the people of North Carolina in a time of need.”

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